The past few years have witnessed the hybrid cloud becoming the default choice for most organizations across industries.
Two main shifts in the market have driven this change:
- The ever-increasing diversity of products, technologies, tools and clouds that are being used by organizations in a bid to support their changing business requirements.
- The increasing willingness of the information technology industry to accept this growing and penetrative diversity.
Evolution of the Cloud
Adoption of cloud technology has been mainly through three separate and distinct stages over the past years.
Stage 1 – Reluctance to Accept the Cloud
In the first stage, generally accepted to be between 2008 and 2013, a large number of organizations were hesitant to use the cloud. This was thanks to many concerns surrounding security, performance, compliance and costs.
While technical leaders in many organizations were identifying reasons why the public cloud was not a practical option for their business, their businesses were beginning to actively embrace the cloud in a bid to find a solution to real-world business problems.
Stage 2 – Impractical Eagerness Towards the Cloud
The second phase of cloud evolution occurred between 2014 and 2016. During this stage, organizations accepted and embraced the cloud with almost impractical eagerness. This exhilaration was primarily driven by the idea that the cloud could revamp businesses because of its innovation, cost savings and agility.
Many organizations committed themselves to move complete data center applications onto the public cloud. Amazon Web Services (AWS) was the cloud service being most frequently adopted and quickly adapted to become completely enterprise-enabled. This allowed AWS to grow its revenues and market share substantially.
The direction of Enterprise IT changed dramatically during this phase to embrace the public cloud and seek out innovative methods to deliver more value to their partners.
Stage 3 – The Emergence of Hybrid Cloud
The last step of cloud evolution, starting in 2017 and continuing until today, is accepted as being the stage when hybrid cloud came to the forefront.
The quick adoption of the public cloud led to Enterprise IT accepting a heterogeneous system of cloud services, technologies, tools and products.
Though the term ‘Hybrid Cloud’ has been around since 2010, it was only later in 2017 when the concept actually took off. This led to the information technology industry managing an increasing divergent product portfolio which, in turn, led to attempts to solve the challenges of managing this divergent portfolio efficiently across different environments.
What is Hybrid Cloud?
The Hybrid cloud is an environment in cloud computing which makes use of a mixture of private cloud (on-premises) and public cloud services from third-party providers. By allowing workloads to transition between public and private cloud environment following changing costs and computing requirements, the hybrid cloud allows for a higher level of flexibility and additional options for data deployment.
Hybrid cloud computing gives an organization the freedom to deploy private cloud on-premises that can host critical and sensitive workloads while using a third-party public cloud service provider for less-critical computing resources, test and development workloads for example.
Characteristics of the Hybrid Cloud
The main features of a hybrid cloud architecture can be narrowed down into the following:
- An organization’s on-premises data center, public and private cloud resources and workloads are bound together using conventional data management, while at the same time, staying separate.
- The ability to connect existing systems running on traditional architectures and contain business-critical applications or sensitive data that may not be best placed on the public cloud.
Why the Hybrid Cloud May Prove to be a Better Choice
A concern commonly raised by businesses about cloud-based technology is the aspect of multi-tenancy and data security. A hybrid cloud strategy helps put light on these worries by allowing companies to select dedicated servers as well as network devices. These can restrict or isolate access when the need arises. For instance, AWS offers on-premise integration in the form of services like AWS RDS, EC2, EBS with snapshots, object storage using S3 etc. that come with in-built support for on-premise and dedicated servers. This ensures that your hybrid cloud architecture can have the same security standards as those of the public cloud architecture.
These cloud servers can communicate effectively over a private network. This transforms two distinct solutions into a single integrated architecture.
Cloud bursting refers to a model for application deployment where an application runs in a data center or private cloud and bursts into a public cloud when computing capacity demand spikes. The advantage here is that an organization only needs to pay for extra computing resources as and when needed.
Experts in the field recommend using cloud bursting for non-critical, high-performance applications that handle non-sensitive information. Such applications are typically deployed locally and then burst to the cloud to meet the spike in demands. The app can also be moved to the public cloud to free up local resources for more business-critical applications.
Cloud bursting is best used for applications that are not dependent on complex delivery infrastructure or integration with other components, applications and systems that may be internal to the data center.
Higher Level of Control Over Big Data Analytics
For organizations that have to deal with Big Data, migrating to a hybrid cloud model provides a near perfect solution that allows them to serve their customers better and assist their employees at the same time. They can accomplish this by providing the latest and relevant data when needed.
Given its computational power, elastic resources and scalability, the cloud is a perfect fit for organizations that have to deal with big data. An added benefit for such organizations to maintain a hybrid cloud solution is data recovery and also ensuring that private data is kept out of public servers.
Transitioning from Existing Infrastructure
Organizations cannot afford to risk any downtime when attempting to transition to a cloud infrastructure. A hybrid cloud model gives organizations the best of the private and public cloud minus any downtime.
Once successfully integrated with a business’s existing infrastructure, the hybrid cloud solution proves to be a cost-effective way to extend capabilities to the cloud. Irrespective of whether a company is already growing or is planning for future growth, the scaling of on-premise infrastructure often proves to be cost intensive.
A hybrid cloud model is a great way to manage existing business requirements while supporting current and future growth. This allows for innovation while, at the same time, limiting costs.
Simplified Costs and Customer Satisfaction
Depending on how an organization uses its computing environment, the public cloud generally tends to be more cost efficient than the private cloud when executing workloads.
Organizations that adopt the hybrid cloud can achieve a balance between the need for being cost-effective as well as the required security when keeping critical workloads and sensitive information secure on the private cloud.
A Technology Safe Harbor
‘Application sprawl’ is a term that refers to the idea of businesses buying IT resources from external parties for many different reasons.
Let us consider a scenario where an organization creates a testing environment on dedicated servers to provide the necessary security and performance features needed. Add to that the ability to connect to flexible and agile cloud resources. This now can offer a finite and controlled technology pool that can be reused. Here, internal departments, third-party vendors, partners as well as customers can deploy and test their solutions.
Increased Architectural Flexibility
A robust hybrid cloud strategy allows organizations to align workloads according to where they fit best. Hybrid cloud architecture can be aligned in a manner to make maximum use of performance requirements that a dedicated server can offer.
Businesses can also achieve added financial benefits by way of contract term billing that enables them to meet investor or regulator expectations. At the same time, a company can also take advantage of utility billing for short-term or unforeseen requirements.
It also comes along with quick deployment time which is quite useful when dealing with short deadlines or change in requirements.
To conclude, the hybrid cloud is the perfect combination of public and private resources. It can maximize productivity and cost-savings while substantially reducing privacy, security and latency issues.
Businesses that are new to the cloud and are looking for the ideal solution can opt for hybrid cloud instances. These can prove to be a perfect introduction to cloud computing as far as they are concerned.
By building a bridge between a business’s existing infrastructure solutions and futuristic infrastructure technology, companies can position themselves towards an increasingly stable and innovative future.
OverOps is an AIOps Reliability Platform that helps the world’s leading enterprises deliver reliable software, innovate fast, and prevent application downtime and user frustration. The OverOps Platform continuously analyzes applications at runtime to deliver actionable code-level insights and context into the quality of software across the application life-cycle.
These end-to-end insights enable companies to prevent unsafe code from being promoted into production, and solve issues quickly in any environment. With OverOps, development and operations teams can proactively identify critical errors, anomalies, and slowdowns in their applications, prioritize the ones that matter most, and determine the true root cause in minutes to resolve them before customer experience is affected.